Newspaper history

The Clovis News Journal, Portales News-Tribune and Quay County Sun have been sold to Clovis Media Inc., a new company based in Sheridan, Wyo., officials announced on Tuesday.

The sale also includes all of the publications produced by the group now known as Freedom Newspapers of New Mexico.

Here's a brief history of each newspaper:

Clovis News Journal

  • The Clovis News first published in May 1907. Founder Arthur Curren said the newspaper office at 113 W. Grand was the third "complete business house" in the city's history, joining the Dolly Yossett restaurant and Doc Jenkins' Turf Saloon.
  • By 1909, the News had competition, primarily from the Clovis Journal, founded by future New Mexico Gov. Thomas J. Mabry.
  • As the city's population steadily increased, from 3,255 in 1910 to nearly 8,000 the next two decades, the News and Journal competed for news and advertisers.

In 1929, Mack Stanton of Tennessee purchased both papers and merged them into the Clovis Evening News-Journal.

  • Then on Dec. 2, 1935, Freedom Newspapers founders R.C. Hoiles and C.H. Hoiles of Santa Ana, Calif., announced they had purchased the Evening News-Journal from Stanton. In more than 76 years under Freedom's umbrella, the paper evolved into the Clovis News Journal, losing its hyphen in 1990, and changing publication cycle from afternoon to morning in 2002.

Portales News-Tribune

  • The first Portales newspaper, The Progress, began weekly publication on Aug. 1, 1901. The Portales Herald followed in 1902, just before the Portales Times launched and eventually merged with the Herald.
  • Other early day Portales newspapers included the Portales Journal and the Portales Valley News — grandparents of today's Portales News-Tribune.

J.G. Greaves, who worked on newspapers throughout the Southwest, bought the Journal and Valley News in 1920 and began publishing the Valley News weekly.

  • In 1935, the Valley News became a daily with a new name — Portales Daily News. In 1945, Greaves sold the paper to his son, Gordon Greaves, and son-in-law M.M Stinnett. Then in 1957, the Daily News merged with its competition, The Tribune, which started in 1935. The families of Greaves, Stinnett and Earl Stratton began operating the paper they called the Portales News-Tribune.
  • Southern Newspapers Inc., of Houston purchased the paper from the families in 1981 and operated it until Freedom Communications Inc., of Irvine, Calif., bought it in 1997. The News-Tribune changed to a morning publication cycle when Clovis did in 2002.

Quay County Sun

  • Tucumcari's newspapers date to 1902 and number at least 14. But the Quay County Sun didn't launch its weekly product until Nov. 2, 1975. That's when Santa Rosa's Ron Doyle began publishing competition for the Tucumcari Daily News, which started in 1921.
  • By 1979, the Daily News was out of business and the Sun — named in honor of the Tucumcari Sun (published from 1907 to 1921) — became the county's primary news source.
  • Portales News-Tribune Publishing Co., bought the Quay County Sun in the late 1970s or early '80s, Stinnett family members said.

Southern Newspapers purchased the Sun at the same time it bought PNT in 1981, then Freedom bought the Quay and PNT papers in 1997.

Sources: "Clovis, New Mexico: The First 100 Years;" "Portales, New Mexico: The First 100 Years;" and "Tucumcari Centennial Edition."

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